Today was one of those days. I had a headache. Things were kinda slow at work, and I was back and forth on whether or not I wanted to get on the boat at the end of the day. But I picked up my reserved ticket (there’s one spot held for a naturalist every day) and walked down to the boat. After talking to the crew, I found out they’d seen humpbacks that day, but weren’t sure they could find them again, since they were far out and moving around a lot.
I almost turned around and went home. After all, it’s tough for me to leave Cinnamon for a work day PLUS a whale watch for a maybe humpback. It was the possibility of seeing a little minke that made me walk onto the ship.
We moved at speed out to the area where the whales had previously been seen. Everyone in the front of the boat was soaked to the skin from the spray. I was glad for my jacket, but was pretty wet myself. The whales weren’t there.
We went out pretty far, and we were all (including the crew it seems) pretty discouraged when we got a report a boat had picked up a whale.
It was a humpback.
I was less than thrilled, but went for the photos and talked to the guests.
It was an OK whale. Came up in the middle of a lot of birds and dolphin, which said it was foraging, but it was pretty much all over the place, which would seem to indicate that it wasn’t in a really dense bait ball, but was, perhaps, searching for better feeding.
It came up a couple times, never where expected, and since we were so far out, and we had, after all, seen a big whale, and there was, after all, another trip they had to be in the harbor in time to load, the captain made the choice to head back.
That’s pretty much the time of the trip when the guests all head inside, and a few hardy souls stay at the bow to get pummeled by the spray and have the whole ocean experience. I was still nursing a headache, and was looking for a moment of solitude, so I headed to the back of the boat. At the back railing of this boat is a small walkway, no seats, so it’s not a real popular place to be.
I was alone.
And I saw this
I started clicking furiously at the shutter button, too gobsmacked to hit the video. This whale was tail throwing.
I started hollering, and the boat turned around, but by the time I got to the other side of the boat, the tail throws had stopped. We watched the whale for a few more minutes, hoping to see more tail throws, but we got a couple good flukes, and it was time to go in.
then it was the long ride home in Orange County traffic, an hour and 10 minutes to travel a mere 20 miles, cold, wet, and briny.
and it was TOTALLY worth it.